Mini E Returns – Now Available For 2-Year Lease To General Public In Delaware


A row of Mini-E's providing balancing services for the grid

A row of Mini-E’s providing balancing services for the grid

University of Delaware’s (UD) EV Research Program with a small test fleet of Mini E electric cars, which on a daily basis provide electricity to the power grid for cash, now enters a new stage.

Beginning in 2013, the Mini E cars were available only to businesses and UD departments, but now Delaware residents will be able to lease the cars.

Willett Kempton, professor of marine policy in UD’s College of Earth, Ocean, and Environment stated:

“Individual drivers are now needed to expand the demonstration over a wider range of driving patterns.”

Timeframe is set for two years at rate of $3,600 per year, but there is a bonus – because of its V2G capability, the monthly rate could be virtually lowered from $300 to $200. The $100 reduction will come from providing a small amount of electricity to the power grid when parked and plugged in during peak power usage.

“The new individual-lease cars can be used in the same manner as a personally leased car, with the addition that the cars provide electricity to the power grid when parked and plugged in. If the car is kept plugged in most times when not driving, it can earn payments back to the driver of roughly $100 per month, or $1,200 per year.”

Kempton added:

“It takes a few months to set up and receive the payments for power after the lease starts, and payments are lower if the car is not kept plugged in when parked.”

AC Propulsion EBox

AC Propulsion EBox

Requirements for the project are a closed-in garage, charging station (“average cost to buy and install $2,500“), live in Delaware and be a Delmarva Power electric customer.

According to University of Delaware, the two-seaters have 100-mile range, but we are not sure if this figure comes from new battery packs or the original ones from previous BMW tests.

What’s even more interesting is that there is still available the option of buying a eBox, converted by AC Propulsion, which we saw for the very first time several years ago. Price is $40,000 with a four-month waiting period.

Mini E in Delaware in 2013:

Source: University of Delaware

Category: Mini


12 responses to "Mini E Returns – Now Available For 2-Year Lease To General Public In Delaware"
  1. GeorgeS says:

    This is great news. So good to keep those Mini E’s productive.

    On V2G:

    Usually when it comes up I’m surprised by the negative reaction it receives from EV owners that are concerned about battery life issues.

    I think in the long run though those issues will be ironed out and V2G will prove itself to be a good idea.

  2. Dr. Kenneth Noisewater says:

    Do those eMinis have J1772 connectors? IIRC the original ones had a different connector.

  3. My advice to Delaware residents: Go get one before they are all leased. The MINI-E was a fantastically fun EV to drive, I still miss mine!

    1. Todd says:

      Just snagged #072! Pick it up next week!

  4. Peder says:

    I might nee to become a temporary resident of Delaware!

    Seriously, if you live in the area you will love driving this car!

    Mini-E #183

  5. turbonium959 says:

    Seems odd that MINI would extend the life of MINI Es. One would think that they learned what they could, but apparently not. The battery packs, at least on 2009 versions, were not too different from the Tesla’s approach. Stuff several thousand laptop li-ion cells in one box and voila! Whatever else it is they learn, I hope it trickles down to the public eventually.

  6. Brandon says:

    Smart ED is the equivalent of the mini-e, only smaller, and funner

    1. Taser54 says:

      It’s common knowledge that having ED is not fun.

  7. Nice to see BMW’s love for the Mini-e’s continue … another batch of drivers and friends experiencing means even more Mini-e love.

    This gives us hope there may be a future production version of the Mini-e? 🙂

  8. Dr. Kenneth Noisewater says:

    Maybe the lessors can have a get-together, call it the “Mini-e Ball”…

  9. Spec9 says:

    I’m glad to see they are putting them to good use instead of just crushing them.

    I’d lease one for $100/month or so. But $300/month? Meh . . . I could get Fiat 500e or Spark EV for less.

  10. Lou says:

    Spec9: Neither of those cars are available in Delaware…